It’s Stupidity to Look for a Platform to Grow in Career

Many people wrongly believe that a good platform is required to succeed in career. They think that they can easily succeed in their career by getting into a big or a reputed company. But in reality, looking for a platform shows short sightedness and lack of commitment.

Platform for career is a negative word
It is very difficult for you to get opportunity to perform in a big or well-established company as they already will have many senior performers to handle difficult things. You will not have a chance to perform.

You will be like batsmen no. 45 in Indian cricket team, where there are number of good batsmen who play well. You will never get a chance to play in the real match. It is like a net practice. You are just like the audience watching the match. There will be no improvement in your capabilities or strengths. Your career will not grow. Even if you perform, it is very difficult for you to get noticed.

A platformer (a person looking for platform to grow in career) is equal to a member of the March Past Contingent and performer is a medal winner. If you select the platform, you are in 3rd row and 4th column position in a group – you have no identity of your own. The credentials are for the platform ‘profile’, not for you as an individual. Whereas a performer has a personal identity. He is the person who made a difference/made things happen. Performer is man of the match. Platformer is like 12th man in the cricket team.

If you get into an established organization, just to grow on its size or reputation, you are like a parasite -a leech looking to suck the blood. It demeans your abilities and shows your weak nature. If you are a ‘platformer’, you will not add any value to the job you are doing. You will be caught napping one day. Even if it is a big or a well-established company, you will be kicked off if you don’t perform.

Don’t look for platform, try to establish the reputation
Instead of looking for a platform, look for a challenge that you can overcome with your skills, commitment and perseverance being in a good team. Do something that greatly benefits the customer of your organization or serves the objectives of your organization. Do good work; your career will grow automatically.

Better to join small and emerging professional companies, where they provide lot of opportunities to reach your career goals. Remember, opportunity comes from doing things that nobody does and by doing them extremely well. Get a good name or reputation to the company through your performance.

Don’t look for platform; try to establish a path to reach your career goals. Many people started their career with small companies and made them in to big ones.

Steve Ballmer worked for two years as an assistant product manager at P&G and attended Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He left his MBA before completing to join Microsoft which was having less than 30 employees at that time. And he made a big contribution to making it a big successful company.

No good company looked for platform to grow
A good company never looks for a platform to grow. Good companies are focused on building their reputation/credibility on their own way.

IBM focused on Mainframes and became a dominant player in that segment. After IBM, HP did not focus on Mainframes, it focused on mini servers and later into Unix servers. Oracle focused on RDBMS database while IBM was promoting DB2 non-RDBMS database. Microsoft focused on desktop Operating Systems and Google focused on search engine. All good companies focused on different segments and became performing organizations. They do not look for a platform to grow.

Teakwood will be soft initially but it becomes strong as it grows old. After a few years, teak will be very strong. Fruit packing wood on the other hand will be strong initially but loses its strength as years pass by. It gets infected by termites and becomes dust. So looking for a platform will make you like fruit packing wood.

Platforms change over time
Perceptions are there for platforms, but they will change over time. What happened to IT, financial services and real estate in recession? Even big companies removed their employees. TCS, India’s top IT Company, removed 1300 employees from their Chennai branch. You will stay in the organization only if you are a performer, otherwise you will be removed from the organization. As long as Steve Ballmer is there in Microsoft, CEO role is not open. He is a great performer who built the company. Such credentials and commitment matter for important, critical and high paying positions.

Perception game is not enduring. Every 3 years, platforms keep on coming and going. As a Japanese Samurai quote goes, the shortest route becomes the longest route and the longest route becomes the shortest route.

If you are looking for a platform, it indicates that you are childish, lack confidence in your abilities and are greedy. It shows feudalistic mindset, which means old way of thinking to usurp rather than being meritocratic.

Looking for a platform is like manipulating a system and it is problematic. People with platform in mind are those looking for easy win that they don’t deserve. It is like a cheap imitation which is indicates lack of character. It shows selfish interest or ‘don’t care the company’ attitude, which is not at all accepted by any company. This kind of mindset works only for short-term, but not long-term.

If you join a platform, you will miss out quality experience at work. Because your exposure will be low and you don’t have a chance to learn something to grow. So skip thinking about ‘platform’, which is a derogatory word in the dictionary of a performer. So it’s stupidity to look for a platform. Performance is the only thing which helps you to lay the foundation for a solid continuous career growth.

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